We appreciate the input we have received from students, families, faculty and staff so far and it continues to help shape planning efforts. VCU's Return to Campus plan follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Virginia Department of Health, city and VCU Health guidance. To be together means we are responsible together.
Things will look and feel different this year as we take necessary steps to protect the well-being of our community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before the start of each semester, you will need to complete the Return to Campus training and acknowledge the requirements and consequences. Employees will sign an attestation indicating training completion and personal compliance with safety protocols.
Here is what is expected of you:
Follow safety protocols including those regarding face coverings and masks, cleaning and disinfecting, and physical distancing. Employees will receive reminders for daily health monitoring. Managers will be notified after repeated non-compliance. Disciplinary action for employees up to and including termination will be used for a failure to comply with rules.
See additional details about VCU's operations during COVID-19 in our VCU Return to Campus Plan .
The spring semester will start a week later than planned on Jan. 25 (most undergraduate and graduate courses).
All classes will begin virtually, except in instances where a student is involved in clinical and field placements, practica, co-ops, internships and other work-related experiential learning activities. This means that previously planned in-person classes and the in-person component of hybrid (blended) courses also will take place virtually.
As pandemic conditions improve, we have every intention to resume in-person instruction as originally planned. We will evaluate the feasibility of moving forward with previously scheduled in-person classes and hybrid courses by mid-February, with the hope to resume them on or before March 8.
Spring break is canceled but two reading days have been added on Feb. 23 and March 24. The last day of classes is May 5 for the Monroe Park Campus and May 7 for the MCV Campus, with exams to follow.
The full academic calendar is available at academiccalendars.vcu.edu.
How we teach, interact with one another and conduct our daily life on campus will change.
The One VCU: Responsible Together Spring 2021 training is available in Talent@VCU. It is also available in Blackboard for individuals who do not have access to Talent@VCU. All VCU employees are required to complete this training by Monday, Jan. 25, 2021, the beginning of the spring semester. Managers are required to complete the manager edition of the training as well.
In general, in-person events and gatherings are limited to 10 people. For exceptions and more details, see the “Events and gatherings” section on the Pubic Health Measures page.
Vaccination distribution is based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Virginia Department of Health guidelines. The university and VCU Health are working on a vaccination plan for designated VCU employees whose work supports the needs of our patients and who are university health care providers. And, VCU is working with the Virginia Department of Health on the timeline for vaccine availability for all faculty and staff. Refer to the frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccines for more information.
Students and employees returning to campus receive starter supply kits with hand sanitizer, spray disinfectant and launderable face coverings, and additional supplies are made available for free at vending machines throughout both campuses. For details, see the “Supplies” section on the Public Health Measures page.
If you forget a face covering, free disposable masks may be picked up at various locations. Please check this spreadsheet for locations and times.
VCU has dedicated certain additional spaces for eating and studying since seating is reduced in some common areas. View a list of locations and hours.
Additionally, supporting materials related to the phased return to research are posted on the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation website at https://research.vcu.
Major supports proposed to help faculty prepare to teach, design, build and assess include:
Employees at increased risk for severe illness according to the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health, and who also have been informed that they need to return to campus for work, may request flexibility in work arrangements through the university ADA/504 coordinator. Employees should discuss with their manager and their HR professional any other alternative work arrangements.
Managers should demonstrate flexibility in developing staffing plans, particularly for those caring for others, or who have concerns about returning to campus. Management options include:
Faculty will work with their department/unit on their return to campus plan.
Sick leave policies and practices
Additional forms of state and federal leave are available to faculty and staff whose work is affected by COVID-19 either as a direct result of the virus or as a result of the need to find accommodations for child care due to school, camp and daycare closures due to the virus. Available state and federal leave hours may be used continuously or intermittently.
We encourage you and your manager to think flexibly about how your work is best performed, how the job is structured, how the work of the team is organized, and what kind of changes may be made to support you and your colleagues at this time, while maintaining effective departmental operations.
In general, options currently available include:
A full listing of existing options and what they look like when applied may be found on hr.vcu.edu/covid-19/working-parents. Your HR professional is positioned to assist in these conversations, if needed. As a reminder, an FAQ list covering topics like virus exposure, quarantine information, and caring for someone with COVID-19 is found on the HR COVID-19 page.
As a premier public research university, we are fortunate to have resources and expertise right here at VCU, including our nationally-ranked School of Education. We encourage you to review the #SOESupportsYou Campaign, where SOE faculty share advice and strategies on how to achieve success with your child’s virtual learning during this time.
VCU Parking and Transportation offers several long-term and temporary parking accommodations for employees. View details at parking.vcu.edu/parking/faculty-and-staff.
The Global Education Office has prepared a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help international students prepare to start or continue their studies in the U.S. for spring 2021. This is a living document and will be updated as needed. Please be sure to check the FAQs regularly.
There are hundreds of details involved in each of these measures and considerations. Your input is very helpful as we move forward. Climatext, a real-time data collection tool developed by VCU Information Technology and the Division for Inclusive Excellence, is part of the university’s proactive monitoring and response plan to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Climatext provides quick feedback to uncover trends and gain insights that the university can incorporate into decisions. In this new climate, tools like this help ensure we get the input we need in time to use it. Learn more about climate surveys and continue to share your ideas.